God Is Spirit

by John MacArthur Friday, February 28, 2020

Every form of unbelief is just another version of idolatry. Even atheists refute themselves by voicing hatred for the God they deny. Creation is proof of a Creator, but those who do not acknowledge the God of the Bible often imagine it was the work of some nebulous, distant, and uncaring superpower. Like the Deists who picture God as a great clockmaker, who wound up His creation and then left it to itself, unbelievers—some of whom are professing Christians—go through life hoping this impersonal cosmic force will ultimately work in their favor.

But the true and living God isn’t distant, uncaring, or impersonal. Our attributes of emotion, intellect, and will did not just happen—God made us in His image. He has revealed Himself in the Bible to be a person. The Bible uses personal titles to describe Him. He is called Father. He is pictured as a shepherd. He is called a brother, a friend, a counselor. Scripture uses personal pronouns to refer to Him.

We know God is a person because He thinks, acts, feels, speaks, and communicates. All the evidence of creation, all the evidence of the Scriptures, indicates that He is a person.

Yet He is also a spirit. He does not exist in a body that can be touched and seen like our bodies. Jesus said, “A spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). He also pointed out that an understanding of these basic realities is essential to acceptable worship: “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

The spirituality of God means He cannot be reduced either to a physical image or a theological abstract. He is a personal spirit, and He must be worshiped in the fullness of the infinity of His eternal being. Isaiah 40:18–26 explains the concept:

To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, a goldsmith plates it with gold, and a silversmith fashions chains of silver. He who is too impoverished for such an offering selects a tree that does not rot; he seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman to prepare an idol that will not totter.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, but He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the storm carries them away like stubble. “To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be his equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.

In other words, if you try to reduce God to something other than a spirit, something that can be seen and touched, what are you going to make to represent Him? Can you draw a picture of Him? Can you carve an image like Him? Can you melt down silver and make it into a statue of Him? What are you going to make it like? To what are you going to compare it? How can you adequately represent God with an idol or an image? You can’t. He is the God of the universe, and He cannot be carved out of a little piece of wood.

We must be careful not to think of God in human terms. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man.” When the Bible talks about the eyes of the Lord, or the arm of the Lord, and so on, it is using what we call anthropomorphisms. That comes from two Greek words, anthropos, meaning “man,” and morphae, meaning “form” or “shape.” An anthropomorphism speaks of God in terms of the human body in order to enable us to understand the concept somewhat. But such expressions are not meant to be taken at face value. God is not a man.

The Bible uses such word pictures to accommodate our limited understanding, and we must take care not to insist on interpreting them too literally. God is a spirit, not literal flesh and blood. The Bible similarly talks about God’s wings and feathers covering His children. But God is not a bird, either.

First Timothy 1:17 speaks of Him as the invisible God. John 1:18 says, “No one has seen God at any time.” No man will ever see God. God represented Himself to the Israelites in the Old Testament through the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire and through the shekinah—His glory—in the Temple. At times God manifested Himself in special ways, such as in a burning bush and through visions. But those appearances did not reveal the real essence of God. He is spirit.

God may not be physical, flesh and blood like we are, but that doesn’t make Him absent. He may be invisible, but that doesn’t make Him distant. The true and living God of Scripture is intimate, active, and constantly working all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

(Adapted from Worship)


Kingdom Perspective

April 24, 2020 by Discerning Dad

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12

It’s sometimes hard to get perspective when I read through the Bible quickly. In a matter of minutes I can read through hundreds and hundreds of years in the life of kings who ruled Israel or a story of a miraculous healing that Jesus did that fundamentally changed someone’s identity for the rest of their life.

An evil king like Manasseh (2 Kings 21) that ruled Israel for 55 years, spent his entire reign in idolatry and following practices of pagan nations. How was it for someone being alive during that time? Many people lived and died under that reign, not knowing anything different as a way of life. They may have heard stories of old of the goodness of God saving them from Egypt and doing great miracles, there may have been a remnant of people who continued to worship Yahweh and remained faithful to His teachings. There’s no doubt it would be hard, if not impossible, to have any perspective on God’s plan during this time.

Jesus healed a woman with an issue of blood in Luke 8:43-48. I quickly read this story sometimes and think it is an awesome story of the healing power of God. However, we are told this woman dealt with this problem for twelve years. Twelve years is a long time to be dealing with a medical problem that no one can fix. She was probably rejected by her community due to the laws about uncleanness. She probably went to multiple doctors at the time and tried numerous therapies and herbal remedies, none of which worked. She no doubt lost hope, maybe in year 3, maybe in year 6 she accepted the fact that this was incurable, maybe in year 10 she got so desperate that she gave up trying. Until Jesus came, in year 12, and she got up enough courage to touch the hem of His garment and her whole world changed.

Even more so was the lame man in John 5 who was paralyzed for 38 years whom Jesus healed! Imagine his timeline for a second…

Finally think about Joseph and his time of being sold as a slave and being thrown into prison, through no fault of his own. He spent years in prison, but God never left him. Joseph couldn’t see the big picture at the time; he couldn’t see the redemption of his family which would be coming years later. But through it all, he never lost his trust in God, even though his perspective was limited.

My wife and I watched the TV series The Chosen which is about Jesus’ ministry. We loved it (only the first season is out right now). Not only is it well produced and well acted but it brings a different perspective to some of the stories that you read in the Bible with limited context of what was going on at that time in history. Yes, a lot of the show is extrapolation and speculation, however in light of the fact that the disciples and others surrounding Jesus were REAL people with real lives, who had real hopes for a promised Messiah, real fears of Roman rule, etc. it’s helped me at least think of what it was like for them during this time and what the impact of Jesus’ ministry meant to them on a personal level.

When Jesus called each of the disciples out of their jobs, their livelihood, and their careers, we read the verse like “at once they dropped their nets”, and it’s easy to miss the act of faith this really was. How much of a sacrifice did this truly cost them to follow the Master, not knowing anything that was going to happen?

One of the stories in the show that really stuck with me was John the Baptist in prison where he questioned whether Jesus was “the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else (Matt 11:3)?” This is someone who preached the coming of the Messiah, made a way for Him, and saw the Spirit of God descend on Him like a dove saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased (Matt 3:17).” How could he question the validity of everything He saw and believed?

Before we are too hard on John, we have to think of the fact that we don’t know when he was imprisoned; it could have been right after Jesus’ baptism. We are told John heard about some of the things happening with Jesus but did not see them. He is confined to a prison, waiting his beheading that he didn’t know what was coming and I know I would be filled with doubts if I was in his position. I imagine it’s hard to have perspective in a cell. Not knowing how God is moving or what He is doing in the world. John didn’t reject Jesus in his question; he just wanted a glimpse into the ministry of Jesus and to strengthen his kingdom perspective while he was in prison.

Jesus doesn’t condemn John for doubting though, Jesus simply tells John’s disciples to tell him, “what you see and hear: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me” (Matt 11:4-6).

After saying this, Jesus tells the crowd how great John is, in fact, no one greater than John the Baptist has ever been born of woman, He said. Yet, He said, “Whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matt 11:11). What it means to be least in the kingdom is a deep subject for another article, but what I take away from this exchange is that we are considered blessed when we have faith in Jesus even when we don’t understand the greater plan.

If you consider the time we are living in now, in the midst of uncertainty and pestilence, it can be hard to see the big picture, however I believe we are blessed to be living during this time when we can hold fast to Jesus in the middle of trials and when our faith compels us to strengthen our position in Jesus instead of waver.

When our joy is contagious, our love is unequalled and our faith in God is immovable, we are able to give the light of Jesus in a dark and dying world. We live in a time where we are called to save others by “snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear” (Jude 1:23). This is referring to fear of upcoming judgment.

It’s not wrong to doubt or to have anxiety mixed with fear and uncertainty. It’s not uncommon to see the small perspective of our four walls and small community and miss the ways God is moving, most of which are unknown to us. We need a Kingdom perspective. Instead of letting the opinions of news outlets and social media influence your faith, open the Bible and try to catch a glimpse of the immutable, omnipotent, loving God we serve and strengthen your faith in the fact that nothing is surprising to Him and He is ultimately in control of everything.

Discerning Reflection: How have I been controlled by fear during this time? Have I spent enough time in the Bible and strengthening my relationship with Jesus? Do I truly trust Jesus no matter what happens? Give God your fears today, tell Him specifically what they are and ask Him to replace them with His peace.

Prayer: Lord, help me trust you no matter what; show me what it means to be the least in your Kingdom. Give me faith that passes understanding and can be a light of love to those who are perishing and need to hear from you. Amen

Tim Ferrara
Discerning Dad

Kingdom Perspective

Can the Pandemic Be an Answered Prayer?

Article by Rosaria Butterfield
Guest Contributor

My husband, Kent, was installed as pastor of the First Reformed Church of Durham (North Carolina) in April of 2012. From the moment that Kent received the call, we started praying for opportunities to love our church neighbors. Located five blocks from a progressive, well-heeled (for now) research university and down the block from the LGBTQ community center, we met roadblocks every step of the way. We tried barbecues and block parties. Nobody came.

After eight years in this neighborhood, only two neighborhood contacts remain: National Neighbor Night Out (first Tuesday in August), where Kent and other men from our church serve as grill masters, and Reformation Day (October 31), when our church distributes treats and tracts and opens the church for respite to hundreds of weary goblins, princesses, and their parents. Even at these all-neighbor events, however, we were feeling the cool breeze.

In August, neighbors would ask if our church was LGBTQ affirming, and if not, why we were here. In October, parents would clutch the hands of their costumed-children and cross the street, directing them not to take anything from our hand or even receive our smiles. Finally, a small case of vandalism last year discouraged many of us when someone took permanent marker to a yard sign. The original sign — “Please Curb your Dog” — was defaced to “Please Curb your God.”

With sadness, as the culture lurched aggressively toward identity politics, we realized that instead of representing good news for all, our little church had become a symbol of suspicious intent.

Surprising Answer to Prayer

We continued to pray that the Lord would give our church a reason to be in this neighborhood, and that our neighbors would receive our desire to do them good. Then God answered our prayers by sending COVID-19, and with it, shelter-in laws and severe restrictions against assembling in groups for any reason.

How could COVID-19 be an answer to our prayer for opportunities to love our neighbors?

I know that this might ring wrong in our ears. After all, God is not the author or cause of sin. How could a global pandemic, a novel-virus killing machine plaguing six out of seven continents, be considered an answer to prayer? And why would anyone thank God for months of shelter-in orders, an aggressive government intervention whose deleterious economic and social harm will be felt for generations?

Let me explain.

The Next Supper

COVID-19 has profoundly (and some say permanently) changed the food chain across the globe. Here in North Carolina, this hit us like a brick in March. Big chain stores were rationing basic items, and people were in a panic. Farmers had food, but much of it was wasted because the restaurant business was shut down and the food was packaged and distributed only to restaurants.

Severe shelter-in policies discouraged people from leaving their homes at all, and all residents were encouraged to order their groceries from a delivery service. Most services had waiting lists and confusing rules. COVID-19 outbreaks in meat-packing plants made people seek a cleaner food source. This was (and is) a perfect storm. Food is a basic need, and people were (and are) panicked.

So, my 14-year-old daughter and I started working to deliver food for a farm-to-table CSA (community supported agriculture) program that we have been using for eight years. Families order curated boxes and then add meat and dairy products to those boxes as suits their needs for the week. To serve as delivery drivers, we received quick and intensive training. Delivering food in a pandemic is no small thing. Indeed, it’s holy work.

Churches in New Light

Providentially, the route that the company assigned to us is the neighborhood in which our church resides. On our first day on the job, Kent and our teenage son helped as well. It was all hands on deck for the Butterfields. That first day, it took us twelve hours to complete our deliveries.

Our neighbors received us with joy and thanks. And many of them knew us as the pastor and pastor’s wife from the church down the block. People were (and are) in a state of panic about COVID-19. And the people willing to bring them their food mean something to them. Our role as food deliverers has allowed us to be seen in a new light.

After a grueling first day, we realized that our church building could also serve the food distribution. Our church building, like others, had been unused and unopened for weeks by state demands. We offered the company the use of our church as a truck stop, and the use of our kitchen, bathrooms, and building as storage and respite for their drivers. My daughter and I learned how to clean and disinfect the building to the new COVID-19 code, and we put up signage (“This Facility Practices Social Distancing”), provided extra face masks, and opened the doors for business.

Gaining Ground

Now, on Tuesdays, our church is open, alive, and serving. Kent and our son stay at the church to help drivers with any needs, while my daughter and I deliver food to 35 (and counting) households. Neighbors who had once been suspicious are thanking us for our service. Many are asking for prayer.

“God so loves us that he appointed us to serve and share and proclaim the gospel in the thick of the crisis.”

After our deliveries are done, we often meet with concerned neighbors and try to connect people in need of food with the programs that serve food. Everyone we meet is in an existential crisis. And God so loves us that he appointed us to serve and share and proclaim the gospel in the thick of the crisis.

We come home with lists of people to pray for and serve in additional ways. In a global pandemic, where people are literally afraid to breathe, the proclamation of the gospel in word and deed gains new ground. One practical way that COVID-19 answered our prayers was that its devastation has provided a clear reason for our conservative and biblical church to be located in this progressive community. God never gets the address wrong.

Thanking God for Everything

COVID-19 also has sharpened my theological understanding of good and evil, providence and calamity, sin and repentance, belief in Christ and grace. As my brother Drew Poplin said during a virtual prayer meeting, only Christ’s own can thank God for his “sinless use of sin.” And if that’s true for sin, surely it’s also true for a pandemic. So I am committed to thanking God for his purposes in COVID-19.

God’s word shows us how this kind of prayer works. The apostle Paul says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And, “Be filled with the Spirit, . . . giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18–20). And, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

Giving thanks to God for everything, including COVID-19, humbles us — deeply. It reminds us that God’s providence is perfect and our point of view flawed. Because God is good, just, and wise, all the time and in every circumstance, then COVID-19, for the Christian, must be for our good and for God’s glory.

National and Personal Idols

Giving thanks to God for COVID-19 also positions us to begin to see the world from his point of view. The pandemic destroys our idols of prosperity, breaks down the false confidence of all men, and makes us all feel unsafe in our own strength — and feeling unsafe is sensible. As John Calvin writes in his commentary on Hosea 1:5, “There is no reason why we should feel safe when God declares himself opposed to and angry with us.”

The idols that God is destroying are both national and personal. God is pointing his finger at all of our hearts. If taking away our prosperity is how God will shake us up from our national and personal sins, are we all in?

“The idols that God is destroying are both national and personal. God is pointing his finger at all of our hearts.”

Have you considered the ramifications that this June will be the first in decades without a public gay pride march? Why is this big news? First, sexual identity depends on an affirming audience who can sway others to its side, using an ideology of personal freedom and victimhood. A virtual platform draws only the faithful, denying them the oxygen that this particular fire needs.

Second, without an audience, sexual identity cannot be normalized. Here is the heart question for us. Are you praising God for this disruption? Or is it your preference to complain about gay pride (and other sins) from the air-conditioned comfort of your home, in the midst of an economy that benefits from all kinds of sin?

What Will Overcome

Giving thanks to God for COVID-19 highlights our union with Christ. It shows how union with Christ depends on the person and work of Jesus Christ in our lives and not on an affirming audience of mere men. It draws us deep into God’s means of grace, and makes us lament over the Lord’s Days that have come and gone without public worship.

Lastly, Christians publicly giving thanks to God for all things, including COVID-19, gives glory to God and gives encouragement to a world suffocating from panic and frenzy, while putting its hope and trust in itself. John writes, “Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith” (1 John 5:4). COVID-19 will not overcome the world. Christ will. And we will in him.

 is former tenured professor of English at Syracuse University, is married to Rev. Kent Butterfield, pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Durham, North Carolina. She is a homeschooling mother and writer and is grateful to God that her church has been able to worship on the Lord’s Day at the church building once again.

What’s Your Heart Group?

April 17, 2020 hephzibahgarden

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew‬ ‭13:3-9‬ ❣️

The wayside heart is easily distracted from the presence of God. It lacks understanding and has no roots. Satan steals every word they hear before it goes deeper into their heart so they remain unsaved — When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. Matthew‬ ‭13:19‬❣️

The stony heart is a hard heart. This kind of a heart gets easily offended by the word of God after it is tested. A little suffering and they give up which ends in rebellion and division — But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. Matthew‬ ‭13:20-21‬❣️

The thorny heart loves money more than Jesus. It is choked by the cares and the riches of this world. Education, career, and ambition drives this type of a heart pulling it far away from its Creator! — He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. Matthew‬ ‭13:22‬ ❣️

The good heart is an honest and obedient heart to God’s Word. This type of a heart eagerly awaits the Coming back of its Creator — But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matthew‬ ‭13:23‬ ❣️

Let’s search and find as to which heart group do we belong to? 🙌


Original here

REAL Christianity

REAL Christianity

It was still dark when Mary Magdalene made her silent, mournful way through the streets of Jerusalem. Passing through the gate in the city wall, she walked the short distance to the grotto where Joseph of Arimathea had provided a tomb for the burial of Jesus.

Approaching the tomb, she stopped short. Was this the right place? In the dark, everything looked different from when the tomb was sealed two days earlier. This couldn’t be right. She was standing in front of a tomb that was open, a tomb whose sealing stone was rolled to the side. Clearly, this was a tomb waiting on its eternal resident, not the tomb where Jesus had been laid. How could it be? How could Jesus’ tomb—a tomb she saw sealed with her own eyes—now be open?

Seeing Jesus crucified two days earlier was bad enough. But now someone had stolen the body?

Inching closer, Mary looked in and gasped. The light of dawn was enough for her to see that Jesus’ body no longer lay on the stone shelf inside the tomb. The tomb was empty—Jesus’ body was gone!Fleeing the grotto, Mary ran to the home where the disciples of Jesus were staying and told them of her discovery. Peter and John leapt to their feet, dashed out of the house, and ran for the grotto, Mary trying to keep up. By the time Mary arrived, Peter and John had entered the empty tomb and verified her report. The burial cloths in which Jesus had been wrapped were there, but His body was gone.

The disciples walked away silently, heads down. But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. (Based on John 20:1-11.)

What an image the apostle John gives us of the confusion and despair the followers of Jesus must have felt: Mary standing outside the empty tomb of Jesus, weeping (John 20:11).

Seeing Jesus crucified two days earlier was bad enough. But now someone had stolen the body? Or, had He been raised from the dead—a possibility as they recalled things He had said (John 2:19)? To their despair was added confusion; to their grief was added the loss of all hope.

They launched into REAL Christianity: Ready, Expectant, Authentic, and Loving.

Would we not have felt the same way? The Christian life—following Jesus as Lord and Savior—is a real-life event. It comes with joy and sorrow, grief and grace. This snapshot catches the followers of Jesus at a critical moment, a crossroads of faith. Would they trust that answers would come? Would they trust that the One who had not failed them for three years would not fail them now?Will we? Will we trust when Jesus seems invisible to us, nowhere to be found? What does it take to live the REAL Christian life? What does it take to be a REAL Christian when the valleys seem darker and deeper and the dawn looks like it will never break through the night?

It is possible, of course. If we continue reading the four Gospel accounts, and the beginning of Acts, we find a changing story. Over forty days, Jesus met with the disciples (Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8). He ate with them, walked and talked with them, and commissioned them to take the Gospel into all the world (Matthew 28:19-20). And then He left them and returned to heaven (Acts 1:9).

Jesus was with them for three years, taken away for three days in the grave, then was with them for forty days, then was taken from them again. They were up, they were down, up again, now down again. In that final down state, they huddled together for ten more days, praying about what to do (Acts 1:14). They had been given a mission, but Jesus had told them to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). They waited out of obedience, not out of understanding.

When the Holy Spirit came at the end of the ten days, at the feast of Pentecost, the disciples’ lives were changed. They launched into REAL Christianity: Ready, Expectant, Authenticand Loving. They set out to fulfill the commission Jesus had given them—and they never looked back, not because their faith became suddenly easy, but because their faith, by the power of the Spirit in their lives, became REAL.

10 Spiritually Tough Questions To Ask Yourself

I don’t know about you, but I am a pretty good liar when it comes to a self-evaluation. It’s kind of like looking in the mirror: I see the 18-year-old body I use to have and not the 50-year-old body I now have.

Doing a spiritual self-evaluation is much the same way. Many times we only see the good we are or the good we do. We never look at the bad side of ourselves. For the most part, I think we are afraid to be honest with ourselves because of what we might find.

The hard part is admitting to something wrong in your life and then having to deal with it. But how can you and I work on becoming better Christians if we never work on the bad stuff?

“Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord” (Lam. 3:40, NASB).

So, what do I look for in a spiritual self-evaluation? Sin! Sin is like cancer—if you don’t deal with it, it will consume you.

Unfortunately, though, most Christian men do not have a clue to what is and is not sin. Why is that? Well, first and foremost, we are not in the Word! Our generation has become a biblically illiterate generation.

We have allowed the world to become our moral compass instead of God’s Word and have forgotten that God has a different idea of what is and is not sin. We have the mindset of “If everyone is doing it, it must be OK!” This is obviously not true in God’s Word!

Second, we don’t pray. And when we don’t pray, we don’t repent. We cannot have a true spiritual revival of the heart with it full of sin. Psalm 119:11 says “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” So, since most men don’t read, much less memorize, Scripture, sin abounds in one’s heart. We must repent of these sins in order to return to have a true fellowship with Christ.

As you start your self-evaluation, begin by getting into God’s Word every day. I tell men I disciple not to eat physically till they haven “eaten” spiritually. Then mediate and pray on the Word you read. Hide it in your heart and ask God to show you the sins in your life. Then repent! This is the only way to grow spiritually. Try to be better today, in God’s eyes, than you were yesterday.

Below are some tough questions to ask yourself as a Christian man. Start your spiritual self-evaluation today. Be diligent in your spiritual self-evaluation, and do it often. Be tough on yourself; it will help you become a better person and a better Christian.

1. Have you spent daily time in the Scriptures and in prayer?

2. Have you had any impure thoughts that would not glorify God?

3. Have you been completely above reproach in your financial dealings?

4. Have you spent quality relationship time with family and friends?

5. Have you done your 100-percent best in your job, school, home, etc.?

6. Have you told any half-truths or outright lies, putting yourself in a better light to those around you?

7. Have you shared the gospel with an unbeliever this week?

8. Have you taken care of your body through daily physical exercise and proper eating/sleeping habits?

9. Have you allowed any person or circumstance to rob you of your joy?

10. Have you lied on any of your answers today?

What question or questions apply to you and share what you are going to do about!

Jody Burkeen

Man Up God’s Way

For more on Man Up God’s Way click HERE

TBT- Guest – 10 Spiritually Tough Questions to ask Yourself by Jody Burkeen from Man Up Gods Way

VIDEO Chicago Mayor Launches Police Raid to Shut Down Black Church’s Sunday Services

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a news conference in Hall A at the COVID-19 alternate site at McCormick Place in Chicago, Friday, April 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


On Sunday, Chicago’s first openly gay mayor, Lori Lightfoot, mounted a raid on a black South Side church for holding services in defiance of her coronavirus lockdown orders.

Lightfoot reportedly sent three marked squad cars and two unmarked cars full of officers to the Chicago Cornerstone Baptist Church in the South Side’s Woodlawn neighborhood. Woodlawn is just south of Hyde Park, the area in which the Obamas lived for a short time before Barack became president.

The pastor of the mostly black congregation, Courtney Lewis, reportedly shut and locked the doors and refused to allow the officers to gain entry to the building, Todd Starnes reported.

Pastor Lewis told Starnes that he felt like he was confronting “the Soviet-style KGB” as the officers pounded on his doors and demanded entry to shut the church down.

“Thankfully, our doors were locked as a normal safety precaution we take each service to protect our members from the escalating gun violence in Chicago,” Lewis said.

A sentry that is usually posted outside the sanctuary to monitor the street during service also reported seeing occupants of a dark car with tinted windows filming the incident through one opened window.

“All we are seeking is the same consideration and trust that is being tendered toward the liquor stores, abortion clinics, and Walmart,” Lewis told Starnes.

Lewis is also seeking help from U.S. Attorney John Lausch. “We are trying to follow the laws of man as much as reasonably possible, but when the laws of man conflict with the laws of God, I, as a pastor, have a duty to follow the laws of God,” Lewis wrote in a recent letter to Lausch. “We will not be intimidated by this overhanded government bully, but we are requesting the assistance of our president and our Justice Department in correcting this grave miscarriage of the law.”

Lightfoot, Chicago’s Mayor since May of last year, has been targeting the city’s churches for several weeks as houses of worship have begun balking at her draconian lockdown orders.

Late last week, Lightfoot excoriated the city’s churches, saying that their desire to re-open is “dangerous and foolish.”

Also last week, the city began fining churches that Lightfoot thinks are violating her coronavirus lockdown orders. After some churches started holding services on the second weekend of May, fines were handed out to churches, including Philadelphia Romanian Church of God, Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church, Metro Praise International, and others.

Law service Liberty Counsel reported on May 23 that Elim Pentecostal Church and other Romanian churches in the city received letters from the Chicago Department of Public Health, invoking emergency orders and deeming churches a danger to society.

The letters also invoked “summary abatement,” which gives the city the power to forcibly enter properties without a judge’s orders and impose the mayor’s will on occupants.

On Friday, President Donald Trump updated federal guidelines for re-opening the economy and added that churches are essential institutions and should be allowed to re-open without government opposition.

“Today, I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump said on Friday, announcing the release of new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

A similar flurry of harsh orders has come from the state’s governor, as well. Illinois’s recently elected Gov. J.B. Pritzker, heir to the billion-dollar Hyatt Hotel chain, continues to maintain that Illinois must remain on near-total lockdown as a measure to stave off the coronavirus.

Pritzker, who has instituted the most draconian lockdown in the country, recently decreed that churches must not allow more than 50 worshippers inside at a time, “until there is a vaccine” for the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Pritzker took criticism for demanding that everyone stay at home even as he allowed his wife to fly off to their Florida estate where lockdowns are not as strict. He was also caught ordering construction crews from Illinois to travel to Wisconsin to work on his property there despite those strict stay-at-home orders he was doling out to his constituents.

But Pritzker is facing mounting pressure to roll back his authoritarian coronavirus policies. Last Wednesday, the governor succumbed to pressure to cancel his order to criminally charge businesses that opened their doors in defiance of his coronavirus orders.

Illinoisans are becoming increasingly restive under Pritzker’s rule. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the state’s coronavirus decrees, and many county governments are shying away from the lockdowns. A growing number of county sheriffs and board members are refusing to enforce the governor’s orders.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.